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tv   Doc Film - Waiting for Immortality  Deutsche Welle  October 29, 2017 8:15pm-9:00pm CET

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but he is going to made it to one to watch box now nick messer guard still that in three points heading in against his former club three one the final score. let's take a look at all this weekend's bonus the action so far so pull up that table for you and you will see that chad got went over freiburg which told you about earlier on sunday oxford braman saturday byron's triumph against. dortmund chalk a draw with both spark god back down hoffenheim labor clues unhandled cologne and defeated hamburg on friday minds in frankfurt with the points. as to every news you're up to date thanks for watching. news on d w make or receive a miss star's emmy and. the themes that came in vegas house of musical. close be the best going to be there and plug.
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the three night groups starting november third on d w. i'm standing in the arizona desert feeling somewhat lost before any superstition mountain land that is sacred to the native american apache trying. my search seems to have come to an end. there are no apaches to be found here only mountain lions will i be torn to bits by mountain lions before i find the answer i see. it all began at the family plot in a cemetery in lugano switzerland ever since i was
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a boy i've always imagined my name would one day be chiseled on the gravestone beneath those of my ancestors something i was never particularly enthusiastic about . a few weeks ago my grandfather died in this nursing on. he had a zest for life and arise sense of humor. in his final years he could hardly hear the news site was poor it seemed as though he was withdrawing from the world and. i wondered to myself if such a life is worth living the idea of dying in a nursing home frightens me. but the idea that anyone or anything could outlive me seems equally ridiculous the fact that the trees here in this park will still be standing decades after i've been put into the ground and simply inconceivable.
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unfortunately all the effort i've put into keeping myself young as intel ped much. yes. jesus. said. that the good of. fires is now. gradually into the sunset or. a void. where we've. never been good like that. and in fact advanced technologies and scientific discoveries actually do make it seem that the idea of vastly extending long is
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within reach i want to explore the possibilities and discover the secret of the turner leaves you know other words i've decided to become immortal. i need someone to guide me on the road to eternal life so i've decided to pay a visit to stephen king a philosopher who wrote a book called immortality. all
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living things strive to survive to live on they have a will to live but we humans perhaps alone of all the animals are aware that this will to live will one day be thwarted this is our curse for being so damn clever and so we have to live in the knowledge that all our hopes or loud dreams will come to nothing we live in the shadow of a personal apocalypse. and even though it might sound implausible almost every culture in human history has had some story of an elixir of life or fountain of youth or something that can help us to keep going forever. and that's exactly the lead i've decided to pursue first the elixir of life. a good place to
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begin is with our breed to gray and san francisco he's a biomedical gerontologist who believes that the first humans who will live to be a thousand have already been born. they may already even be in middle age like me i drive out of the town of mountain view in silicon valley it's own through the sense research foundation which degree co-founded the research findings are disputed in scientific circles but they're based on solid scientifically recognized data. here. but i still think it's quite likely that the first person to live to a thousand is in middle age or maybe even a little older i think that the first cohort in other words people born in a given year who are mostly live to one thousand probably in their twenty's or thirty's now or something like that oh work is focused on what we like to call
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rejuvenation biotechnology so what that means if medicines that we can apply to people who are already in middle age or maybe even older and which will actually repair have at the molecular and cellular level so restoring their body move to a state similar to a young adult in other words we are not simply looking to flow aging down we are actually looking at ways to reverse aging so that means that people who are not benefiting from these therapies will look and feel and function in every way mentally and physically just like young adults. with the help of degree's rejuvenation therapies i could once again look like i did it twenty. the sense foundation laboratory looks like any other biomedical app. but the disease they're trying to cure here is aging only part
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of the research is done at this site the foundation also works with a number of prestigious universities such as yield cambridge harvard and wake forest. we start from the recognition that the body is a machine of course it's a really really really complicated machine but it's still a machine. any machine with moving parts does damage to itself as a side effect of with normal operation so that means that we should be able to look at simple man made machines like cars and ask yourself well how do we already today successfully create cars maintain cars so that they are actually working just as well as when they were belled and the answer is preventative maintenance.
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so we are applying that same concept to the human body but the real innovation that i put forward nearly fifteen years ago now and which inspired all of our work is that it may be possible to do repair comprehensively. we identify seven major types of damage to molecular and cellular damage that the body does to itself has side effects of its normal operation. there is one type of damage and the therapy which is very familiar to everyone these days in fact the type of damage is loss of felf solved by not being automatically replaced by the division of other self and the therapy that is simply stem cell therapy everyone post themselves or because that's all it is if we are successful it rejuvenated people if we are restoring them to a younger biological way then of course we can do it more than once we can do it every thirty years or whatever and that means that we should be able to do exactly
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the same to the human body in terms of how long it lives as we do to cars or airplane so there shouldn't be any limits on how long people can live. yes or that indeed. i agree with what aubrey de grey says about aging. the thought of getting old still seems dreadful to me. that i'm glad that he's putting all his energy and enthusiasm into it so as he puts it curing the problem. he's basically declared that i have a fifty percent chance of achieving eternal life by actually dared to expect more from the mortality group from the elixir of long life but i'll simply have to be satisfied with what i've got for the time being the way they are. when we look back through history we see that the one thing that all of these
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alexia drinkers now have in common is that they're all six foot under they're all dead so many a backup plan and that backup plan is exactly what the second fundamental kind of immortality story office stays with the idea that we are these. it's a cool things these bodies but it except these bodies are going to have to die but he says aha these bodies can rise again we can live again this is of course resurrection when we look around we see that in the winter living things die the plants around us die back the leaves fall from the trees that in spring they are reborn they grow again so it was a natural cycle of life death and rebirth and many rituals in human history many religions have been about tapping into this natural cycle so that we to live die and yet then can be really paul. the latest version of the elixir of life doesn't work yet so as i continue my quest for immortality i'll try
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a new tack resurrection to find out more about that i had to phoenix arizona. in most cases over eighty percent of the time we can be there at the bedside in the hospital this is the one that has been declared with the patient into the earth far from the hospital bed cover the nice at some water will use this device to circulate icy water around the patient accelerate the cooling process as quickly as possible those first agrees a critical because the more you are the first that things are falling apart we also take a restoration of restarting that we use this mechanical device wasn't to do mechanical c.p.r. so restarting circulation not with the goal of reviving the person but we don't really want to revive the person but the ideas we have of the restart everything so we can circulate the medications were take the cells as well as possible and maintain viability of the biological tissue for as long as possible so our goals were to get that temperature down from going to be done to good above freezing as
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fast as we can and we don't want to go below freezing at this point because if we do that without the next step in place with which is removing the blood and body fluids then you get all the ice crystals forming. iyonix is the storage of patients at very low temperatures in the hopes that at some point in the future we will have the technology to repair damaged tissues to reverse the aging process itself and bring those patients back to life and function so patients who we can no longer help with today's medicine throws up his hands and said there's nothing more i can do for this patient what we're saying is let's not give up on the person let's give them a chance the next stage of the process after we've seen the way to the patient this is what we do it's very much like open heart surgery open up the chest and system in blood vessels in here will then connect it up to the fusion system here in the
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chiller essentially what we're doing is removing as much blood and body fluids as possible to avoid ice crystals formation and i suppose that what this is really destroying the crucial information in the brain but it will do a lot of damage so we would minimize that so the goal would be is not to freeze people simply freeze people actually we really don't we revive people vitrification really means that as well as the fluid that we use the crow protection prototyped and fluid socially medical grade antifreeze as it gets colder and colder it becomes a glossy substance just gets thicker and thicker it doesn't form a new ice crystals so it just gets more and more sore the holes the cells in place . then we drop the temperature rapidly below freezing not about minus one hundred ten degree c. point between one hundred ten one hundred twenty or so you want to go a phase transition you no longer a bag of fluid as we tend to be most the time you're actually getting a true saw. the
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final stage of pio next is patient storage and care after we've done these devise ation to transport the suit really perfusion once patients reach mines a hundred ninety six degrees c. will be stored in these vessels doers as they're called these are actually like gigantic fillmore's flasks where you keep your hot coffee hot or cold. this contains a large amount of liquid nitrogen and for a whole forty patients a service you can also actually get several your patients in the center column in the middle this is a three d. printed version of the do is in which our patients are stored at hard to imagine what's the inside the do is because you can see and you can see how patients are stored we have up to four full body patients but also in the center called we can also store several of your a patient's brain any patients in the center column so the for the efficient
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packing. over one hundred forty patients have been preserved by the alec or life extension foundation. the cost of cryo preservation is currently around two hundred thousand dollars for the whole body and eighty thousand forebrain only of us have a choice there are actually two basic options you can either chromosome your entire body which about half of our members of chosen or you can actually just curves of the brain the brain being important but that's where you live that's where your memory of this knowledge you reside and the idea that my own personal choice the idea of that is the rest of this will be pretty. your place anyway is going to be in bad shape by the time i need to be preserved probably of a mighty five years old when i'm just replacing socially every so nobody has the d.n.a. instructions to regrow body i'm not seems not very far in the future compared to restoring a damaged brain it's a lot more complicated but also actions and practical or not just in that in some parts of the world and some parts of america. you have
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a special coverage to move the whole body out of state and that can be a problem if it's after business hours on a weekend whereas the brain only is essentially a tissue donation and you can cross state lines immediately so we have. to consider your patients or a life. neither i don't consider patients to be alive because clearly there's no biochemical activity going on there's no but tabel ism they don't fit the definition of life but they're not dead either if by dead you mean permanently gone to retrieve a ball but the fundamental sense of dead really is that you cannot be brought back
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you've gone but mentally and i would argue that silly for most of our patients they're not dead in that sense because we have stopped the condition from deteriorating and from you know electron microscope studies of the brain from scans from other research on our patients and on animal tissue we know that in many cases we are preserving the structure of the brain sufficiently well given what we know of memory that we are preserving memory and personality. we can't bring anybody back today because we don't have sufficiently advanced technology we can of course quote preserve verse tissues and revive them there are dozens of types of tissues sperm eggs heart valves blood vessels skin cells corneas there are lots of tissues we've barbara served and brought back and used as well known so to go from a single tissue type to a whole organ like a kidney or liver or heart is currently on the very edge of possibility we can't quite do that we're very close by going from a whole organ to a whole organism like a human being or any complex animal is also beyond our ability to reverse the
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process we can do it in very simple organisms we actually did some research recently with a microscopic called c. elegans and we were able to actually teach a very simple task squire preserve it rewarm it and actually remember the tusk so we showed that it actually preserve memory just. when will people start coming back and that's. something that i can only guess at i would be amazed if it was less than thirty years for anybody. and i would be pretty disappointed as more than one hundred fifty so these are a very large range i would guess it really depends on so much it depends on how much research we do how much funding goes into regenerative medicine and the aging
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research we don't want to bring patients back and so we can reverse the aging process. the idea of having myself trial conserved seems absolutely plausible but it probably doesn't work there's only one alternative to and it is food for worms and to be honest the thought of being preserved in a giant thermos doesn't really appeal to me at all. and what would it be like to live in a world where all the people you love are dead. head over to a phoenix housing district reserved for people over fifty five. right there i want to talk to a woman who may be able to answer my question. my name is linda chamberlain i'm one of the co-founders of al gore it was started back in one nine hundred seventy two by my husband and myself and we've really spent most of our life involved in and around x.
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and transhumanism. and i'm now retired. and my husband is in. crest basis at al gore this time as are my mother and my father in law. i can remember when my mother was dying of cancer and i told her you know what the next time we see each other we're probably going to be i'm going to have taken you out to a wonderful dinner at the best restaurant on the moon of titan with the best view of the planet saturn and you and i will toast to life as will be together again. they wrote to the beginning why you did your star article. as an atheist. i had accepted the fact that there is nothing after biological death it's just
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dust to dust you've just gone because i had accepted it doesn't mean that liked it it was just a fact and then i read the prospect of immortality by robert enter who is considered the father of crying on x. and i said wow that's a great idea. well initially back in the early one nine hundred seventy is. this was considered. a lunatic fringe kind of thinking i mean nobody was actually doing this this was just science fiction and so we the problems we ran into was even when we had a member who had made arrangements for the us and. were at the hospital and were trying to get them released to us so we could do this they just looked at us as if we were just kooks we just lunatics so i guess you'd say that over the last forty
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years we've gone from lunatic fringe to cutting edge. a lot of people worry well you know immortality sounds kind of good but when i get bored after i've lived a thousand years that's only assuming that you remain at exactly the same level of intelligence as you have right now but if you can think a million times faster. you can there will be so many exciting things for you to explore that right now you would be totally incapable of so i don't think that there's going to be any problem being bored this can be more to do more to learn work find out. workers are going to. be i'm not at all convinced of this kind of resurrection or perhaps when you reach a certain point. you should make way for others and not become a burden to anyone it's got your eyes stand in front of the mountain venerated by
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the apaches when they got older they climbed up to the summit and waited for a testicle switchy with. everything about the way we have structured our society is based on us living for certain at a time on average seventy years or so so the idea of how long we're in school or not or in university or college how long we work before we retire the is just in of marriage the idea of having children and the rhythm of having children a place in one generation all of this depends upon a group of people living for a certain period of time and then moving on and making way for the next generation and those who want to live forever those who want to say we're going to be the generation that discovers the elixir of life i say forget over generations that
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gone forget all the generations there could come in the future we we there's one single tiny thin layer of life i going to rule it all forever and that seems to me selfish and my hand. stephen cave is right mortality is the dream of a crazy egotist my investigations are pointless i can't nor should i be able to escape the great. so i decided to return to the tried and true methods of battling the process of aging. at the fitness studio i run into an old friend i haven't seen for years but catching up on news is sobering. he suffers from a degenerative nerve disease that limits his mobility was to me if i should show
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a. liquid. that people took to the center meaning my take a lot of medication made by the media i mean to him getting tired of them the same because the disease and the doctors say no hope for a cure or said well yeah. but. seeing my old friend gets me to thinking trying to stop or slow the body's degeneration is a matter of urgency even essential for some people the scientific research and technical aids may offer a great deal of hope for those with severe physical disabilities. i resolved to carry on with my research and pursue the third path to immortality that of the soul. is seen the to me what hannity's stories
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that promise we can live on in the body both have real problems while the soul bridges this gap the soul says maybe you're not just this body that has to die maybe for something more to you something that is by its nature indestructible by its nature immortal. so it's still a very popular view and yet despite that we're finding new ways of telling us now if this story using the science and technology of that day. the concept of the soul can liberate itself from the bondage of the body is not new . but a version for our times can be found in the radical ideas of the transhumanist movement . to learn more about that i've come to budapest to meet julio prisco a physicist who worked for cern. does once that
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pain self transhumanist believes it is possible and desirable to improve life with the aid of technology. in terms of immortality that doesn't mean living to the age of one hundred fifty rather than eighty. in mortality means living for a million years and it is sad and in order to live a million years you've got to leave biology behind and move into a phase of existence that is within the realm of robotics or cybernetics that what you do is make a copy of your brain with all its thoughts your dispositions healings memories and fears and once all that data has been saved then i can leave this biological body and be transferred into a robot. but to boldly go where we really are you so i could have a copy of my brain made violet in a computer and install it later in
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a new art of existence i think it there are two ways of attacking that problem there is the philosophical question of what does identity even mean and what would it mean if there are if you suddenly split if you split into two persons two minds which one would be you and if you think it through far enough then mostly the solution mostly the answer is both of you are you really here. so if i could copy myself onto an artificial platform then i could make other reproductions and bring them back to life on different devices like my cell phone or my tablet. that they've sold out like we made the person whose mind has been digitally filed and becomes part of that computer they don't want much would be able to run the artificial intelligence. agencies i went on to call say it.
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just point the brain and artificial intelligence will have melded so much that it becomes impossible to tell them up a lot of. your me a man a machine become why. they did the julio prisco sort of more than jr frisco's ideas of immortality or be will during and fascinated i mean that he did but i'm not convinced by the idea of uploading my consciousness onto a computer that stored the brain i think that i'm also a body not just a brain. but i think i'm not sure i could live without my body or. i met him i just say because i've got a functioning body and that's not true i'm going to say about. virtual life in a replacement body or a robot might be wonderful from there. are about to go. find
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the quest to develop a suitable replacement for a diseased or no longer functioning biological body interesting. is there anything already available. are we close to seeing the creation of an artificial body. the it called polytechnique dualism in switzerland is a leading institution in the field. a replacement body has to be able to interact with the x. journal world and have its own body awareness this robotic hand developed by doctors investor him each other and his team has been provided with a sense of touch a breakthrough that could meryl new advances in the field. and yeah. we're drawing on a typical thing is we all do. we think up an object in our sense of touch tells us how firmly we should grip it. we know that people who have had
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a hand amputated have great problems because that information is missing. in limits the use of the prosthesis with the broad market of problems are tremendous from a psychological or neuro psychological standpoint too because the hand itself remains a foreign object for the patient. another key component for an artificial body is the ability of the brain to communicate and interact with the machine. in this case has many. conductors which except the signals. is transferred through the wire here and then you simply write it in its center computer. professor millan steam is actually succeeded in getting an exoskeleton to move by giving it mental signals
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the brain provides the signals and the artificial legs move. left to fish i think that this will not happen in the next two or three days will take a least five to ten. because the for only two. avatar feel i don't think that this solution is to have it detach after i think that the dream is to have my own body with all its limitations being in power would do a min. that for me their real future their real wall their real he i am back again for locking patients is not that some detach.
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do things for them but that they're on board the with all that any meat ations augment it with some kind of grow body suit. can do whatever they want to. my main motivation is to have people. disappear. now we did hear that this same technology could be used to in. your body a mind even if we don't have any kind of physical disability because they could have a third arm. a fourth leg that would allow me to do things that i do not be capable to do without those devices. you know. just how much can this interaction be perfected how precisely can the brain communicate with a mechanical electronic device because the mechanic would be a stronger diffusion of the air and that is difficult to say really difficult
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because on the one hand i don't know everything about the brains capabilities to learn new things but i know on the other we don't know where technology will take it. we hope to understand more about both aspects in the next twenty thirty or forty years. sigel the professor which is still where that but it was to according to professor we're a long way from constructing an artificial body. to have it so i think he's right and i like his perspective. is that of we shouldn't worry so much about the future . we should concentrate on helping the people who can benefit from mechanical it's not. for once you have been able to build the way. the transhumanist dream of liberating themselves from their bodies may seem strange
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but it's still fascinating and may even be valuable but it's far from being realized. the present day version of transmigration of souls as a way to immortality. it'll be decades before that happens and that may be too late for me. but there is a fourth story and it's the idea that we can live on. through the echo of the relieve in the world and this is the legacy story. has two basic forms one is cultural legacy in and the other is biological legacy and for me the the icon of cultural legacy is a caylee's we know that as he sat on the beach in front of troy he faced
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a decision he knew that if he stayed to fight a troy he would win eternal fame but he would die so he would have to sacrifice this life in this body the here and now. or he could go home and live a long and happy life as king of a minor kingdom hunting assigning children etc and famously he chose to to stay at troy and fight and and he died and here we are three thousand years later still talking about him so he was he got what he wanted. nonetheless many people prefer the more traditional form of legacy that is biological legacy this can't be having children einstein said we are like leaves on the tree of life and one generation passes but we live on in the next. well it's clear that we can project ourselves into the future in a way through our legacy but we have to ask is it really immortality the fact that
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we're talking about achilles the fact that there are statues of him or brad pitt is playing him in a hollywood movie does that mean he's reached a life is he has less of a corpse because he's a famous corpse. so that. i agree with stephen king that genetic material is not the way to immortality as woody allen says or you know i don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen i want to live in my apartment but if a school or even a mere but. i've got to confess for better or for worse the four routes to immortality even in their present day and scientific guises are an illusion eternal life is impossible for the moment but how can a person bear to live day by day in the ominous shadow of the fate that awaits them . is there in every historical period no matter how powerful the immortality story
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there were also quiet voices who didn't believe who were skeptical and so when we look at these voices i think they make something of a fifth narrative a fifth story but it's very different. to the others because while the other four stories before immortality stories having common is that they did night death they say death is not inevitable or death is not real and this big story it accepts the reality of death but it says even though death will come for us it is wrong to be afraid of it this bit of you says the fear of death is natural nothing could be more natural but it is not rational it doesn't make any sense. the first person to clearly express this was the greek philosopher epicurus he said death is nothing to us because when we are here death is not and when death comes we are caught. i'm trying
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to follow the wise words of stephen cave and epicurus and shake my fear of death but what about my fear of growing old. i returned to the nursing home to learn more about how my grandfather lived in his final years. ones are. to me this is where my grandfather spent the last years of his life or you could barely see or hear him for he was isolated from the world. i find that terrible. day every now if i mean that i see but only the. know but there he was nearly blind and couldn't hear much what was in fact a kind of isolation is all let me down and always will let me go. but thanks to his zest for life and positive attitude he compensated for that with friendships kobe
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southie often said now i am very often but he tried to take every day as it came to living day to day that wasn't a problem for him but i thought they were like witty obviously good that's a comfort to me and i'm happy for him. i thought that was. what. during my quest for immortality i've at least grasped that i won't be going anywhere with my body and i've come to realize that i belong to a species humans. i'm part of the human race i feel solidarity with them and the thought of making space for the people who come after me no longer seems so on bearable.
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yes in the end i'll probably end up here with my name engraved on the headstone under those of lance esther's. better but still as degree says i've got a fifty percent chance of living forever so i'm home.
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yes this week's highlight. exciting aroma truffle season in northern italy. extraordinary shapes plenty on a museum dedicated to bringing. in experts flavors berlin's master chef tony took no. your romance in thirty minutes on w. d w true diversity. where the world of science is at home in many languages. on a lot of programming go in there you know may show you show them with us our innovations magazine for asia the outcome of every week and always looking to the
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as it did on the news coming to live from berlin not everyone in catalonia wants to break away tens of thousands rallied today in barcelona calling for spanish unity this as a new poll shows a razor thin majority.